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Blocking Progress: Ignoring Growing Calls for Gun Safety Laws, Governor Rauner Says He Will Veto Gun Dealer Licensing Bill

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today released the statement below after Gov. Bruce Rauner said he will veto a gun dealer licensing bill passed by the Illinois legislature.

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act, SB 1657, would protect the public and help prevent gun violence by cracking down on illegal gun sales, reducing gun thefts, and holding corrupt dealers accountable. Research shows that state gun dealer licensing laws can reduce gun trafficking and protect communities from gun violence. More information is below.

The bill was passed by the General Assembly on Feb. 28, after years of advocacy from the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition and gun violence prevention groups across the state. The vote came the same day that nearly 500 volunteers from these groups and from Moms Demand Action rallied at the State Capitol, urging lawmakers to pass gun safety legislation.

The legislature can override the governor’s veto with a three-fifths vote in each chamber.

STATEMENT FROM LAUREN QUINN, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE ILLINOIS CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“This is a truly sad day for Illinois. With a few strokes of the pen, Gov. Rauner could have helped reduce gun violence in Illinois. Instead, he buckled under the pressure of a gun lobby that’s becoming more out of step each month with the sensibilities of most gun owners. I won’t soon forget that amid a gun violence crisis in Illinois and growing calls for gun safety laws, the governor went out of his way to block a public safety law passed by the legislature.

Our lawmakers now have a chance to show the leadership the governor did not. We’ll be doing all we can to urge our elected officials to stand up for public safety and override his veto.”

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE GUN DEALER LICENSING ACT:

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act, SB 1657, would require gun dealers to adopt responsible practices and would hold corrupt dealers accountable. The bill would help curb a major source of illegally trafficked firearms from entering Illinois communities by requiring:

-Background checks for gun store employees

-Gun dealers to keep their business premises open for inspection by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and by law enforcement during business hours

-Training for gun store employees on responsible business practices and the laws applicable to selling firearms

-Video surveillance and alarm systems installed for all brick and mortar locations
-New gun stores not to operate within 500 feet of any school